Yesterday we took an unexpected trip to Hamilton to see the Hamilton Fall Garden and Mum Show. We had friends visiting from Sweden and our original plans to spend the day at an outdoor event together were scuttled by the rainy, windy weather, so we went looking for an indoor activity suitable for two gardeners, their spouses and a five year-old. Since the mum show has model trains incorporated into it (and the five year-old and one of the spouses likes trains) we decided to check it out.
It was quite an impressive show, with every form of mum that you can imagine–incurve, reflex, spoon, spider, and pompon are just a few of the types (check out the show’s very extensive explanation of all the different mum types here).
View them as a mass, and you see a wonderful riot of colour (click any of the images to see a larger photo).
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Stop to admire the individual blooms, and you’ll appreciate the amazing variety that comprise the genus Chrysanthemum (in the family Asteraceae).
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The show was mostly staged in what I presume to be the working greenhouses (where the City of Hamilton Horticulture staff would spend the spring growing many of the plants they would use for spring/summer plantings throughout the city) but visitors were also encouraged to tour the permanent plantings in the conservatory. They included the usual assortment of exotics (bananas, grapefruit, etc.), two lovely pairs of birds, and the nicest bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) specimen that I’ve ever seen:
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Outdoors, there were some attractive plantings that included hardy mums, castor beans, and small trees (I had to look closely to realize that these were not permanent garden beds but temporary–comprised of plants in pots, covered with a generous layer of mulch (an outdoor version of Canada Blooms!). Much to the delight of our Swedish visitors (or at least to the delight of the Canadians that brought them there), one of the displays included a lovely giant moose; a perfect spot to pose for photo…
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